VA expands rental support, increasing housing options for Veterans

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded the Shallow Subsidy initiative and will grant  $200 million to 238 nonprofit organizations across the country and territories to provide housing rental assistance to extremely and very low-income Veteran households eligible under VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

The initiative funded by The American Rescue Plan, is now available in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam and promotes long-term housing stability by providing rental assistance payments directly to landlords on behalf of eligible Veteran households for up to two years.

“VA’s Shallow Subsidy initiative is a vital tool in addressing the widening gap between incomes and rising housing costs,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “The recent expansion enables VA to provide relief to many more Veterans burdened by high housing rental costs while they attempt to increase their incomes by pursuing training or better employment opportunities.”

The SSVF Shallow Subsidy initiative covers 35% of eligible Veterans’ rent for two years without the risk of the subsidy decreasing if the Veteran’s income increases during the two-year period. The purpose is to incentivize Veterans to increase their income through employment or other means. The initiative also works closely with the Labor Department’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program to help Veterans secure employment.

There are 7.2 million more affordable housing units needed for low-income families according to data published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, highlighting the need for this VA initiative, particularly in communities with high rental costs and low housing rental vacancy rates.

The Shallow Subsidy initiative aligns with the White House’s priority to promote housing stability by supporting vulnerable tenants and preventing foreclosures.

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